Scientific Opinion on the report of the FOCUS groundwater working group (FOCUS, 2009): assessment of lower tiers

Drinking water, protection goal, pesticides, leaching assessment, arable area, preferential flow
First published in the EFSA Journal
27 February 2013
13 February 2013
22 April 2013. This version replaces the previous one/s.

Corrections were made to the “suggested citation” section and to clarification on EFSA guidance documents in preparation in section 2.1 page 8 and under “Recommendations” page 22. The changes do not affect the overall conclusions of the Opinion. The original version of the Opinion published has been removed from the website, but is available on request.

Scientific Opinion


Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the report of the FOCUS groundwater working group (FOCUS, 2009) with respect to lower tier leaching assessments. The PPR Panel is of the general opinion that the FOCUS groundwater working group has successfully harmonised major concepts in the leaching models and that, overall, the leaching estimations have improved. Despite several limitations, the PPR Panel considers that the revised FOCUS scenarios cover significant arable areas in the EU, including the New Member States, and allow for decision making at the EU level. The PPR Panel however has observed that flaws in underlying data have become apparent after finalising the report. Also new approaches on scenario selection have become available. The PPR Panel recommends that these flaws and new approaches are taken into account when developing revised scenarios.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Alf Aagaard, Theo Brock, Ettore Capri, Sabine Duquesne, Metka Filipic, Antonio F. Hernandez-Jerez, Karen I. Hirsch-Ernst, Susanne Hougaard Bennekou, Michael Klein, Thomas Kuhl, Ryszard Laskowski, Matthias Liess, Alberto Mantovani, Colin Ockleford, Bernadette Ossendorp, Daniel Pickford, Robert Smith, Paulo Sousa, Ingvar Sundh, Aaldrik Tiktak, Ton van der Linden.
Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues
pesticides.ppr [at]
EFSA Journal 2013;11(2):3114
Question Number
On request from
European Commission
Competing interests
Two members of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.